Looking to discover the Japanese music genre known as city pop? Japanese City Pop 100, selected by Night Tempo is an introduction from an international perspective.
Appreciators of Japanese music who visit TKY03 Japan Music Channel are likely to be aware of the city pop genre, which enjoys a measure of popularity outside of Japan.
"Out of Time" from The Weekend's album Dawn FM, released in January of 2022 sampled Tomoko Aran's "Midnight Pretenders" (from her 1983 album Fuyu-Kukan), which has a strong following among core city pop fans.
The Weekend "Out of Time"
This sampling of the song became a topic of conversation in Japan, and the fact that The Weekend, one of the world's most popular bands, has incorporated a city pop tune it its work is a testament to global interest in the genre.
In the past, J. Cole also included Hi-Fi Set's "Sky Restaurant" on 2014's "January 28th." In 2019, Tyler the Creator included Tatsuro Yamashita's "Fragile" on "Gone, Gone / Thank You".
J. Cole "Sky Restaurant"
Tyler the Creator "Gone, Gone / Thank You"
City pop is a genre of music that gained popularity in Japan mainly in the 1970s and 80s. It exudes a sense of urban sophistication through its AOR-like melodies, outstanding sound production, and performances by many talented musicians.
Representative artists of the genre include Tatsuro Yamashita, Mariya Takeuchi, Toshiki Kadomatsu, and Taeko Onuki. For non-Japanese people unfamiliar with the genre, it might make sense to describe it as slickly produced "Yacht Rock," akin to the sound of Christopher Cross, Michael McDonald, and Steely Dan.